Australian Spider Named After Marvel's Venom

Posted on March 14, 2024

Venomius tomhardyi

An Australian spider discovered in Tasmania last year has been named after Marvel's Venom character. The character was played by actor Tom Hardy in the big screen movies.

The distinctive black spots on the spider's abdomen reminded the scientists of Venom's head. This inspired them to choose Venom and Tom Hardy for the spider's name.

The spider is named Venomius tomhardyi. It is the only spider discovered so far in the Venomius genus. The genus belongs to the Araneidae family of orb-weavers - spiders that build upright circular webs to capture prey.

Dr Pedro Castanheira, from Murdoch University, says in the announcement, "This is part of a long-term research that aims to document the entire Australian spider fauna, which will be of extreme importance for conservation management plans and the continuation of the decadal plan for taxonomy and biosystematics in Australia and New Zealand.."

The study's first author, MSc Giullia Rossi, says, "It is really important to keep describing new spiders to assess the total biodiversity of these predators in Australia."

A research paper on the spider was published in the journal, Evolutionary Systematics.

Image: Rossi et al.

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